Indian boxing great MC Mary Kom storms into Asian Boxing Championships final

Veteran champion targets sixth continental gold in title match against Nazym Kyzaibay in Dubai

India's MC Mary Kom poses with the technical staff after her semi-final victory in the Asian Boxing Championships. Courtesy BFI
India's MC Mary Kom poses with the technical staff after her semi-final victory in the Asian Boxing Championships. Courtesy BFI

India’s six-time AIBA women’s world champion MC Mary Kom remained on course of an unprecedented sixth continental gold in Dubai.

She outclassed Mongolian Lutsaikhan Altantsetseg in the 51kg women’s flyweight to book her place in the Asian Boxing Championships final at the Le Meridien Grand Ballroom on Thursday.

Mary Kom, 38, didn’t have it all her own way though against a rival who also landed some excellent punches in the first round before the Indian southpaw drew from her experience to get the better of her opponent.

“It was not my best performance today but I am in the final of the Asian Boxing Championships which is so important for me,” Mary Kom said.

“I was a bit slow in the first round but got my rhythm from the second round. I had met her once before and it didn’t take much to understand my opponent.”

Mary Kom remained coy about her future after the Asian Championships and the Tokyo Olympics.

“There are not many major competitions and the event is my last step before the Olympic Games,” she added.

“The event is now smaller because of Covid-19 but there are good boxers in the championships. I hope I can take a medal in the Tokyo Olympic Games and anything can happen after that.”

MC Mary Kom (red) lands one on Lutsaikhan Altantsetseg on her way to reach an unprecedented sixth Asian Boxing Championship final at the Le Meridien Grand Ballroom in Dubai on Thursday, May 27, 2021. Courtesy BFI
MC Mary Kom (red) lands one on Lutsaikhan Altantsetseg at the Le Meridien Grand Ballroom in Dubai on Thursday, May 27, 2021. Courtesy BFI

In the continental final, Mary Kom meets Kazakhstan’s two-time AIBA women’s world champion Nazym Kyzaibay, who stopped Sri Lankan Nadeeka Pushpakumari in round one.

Joining Mary Kom in the women’s finals from the Indian squad are Lalbuatsaihi (light welterweight), Pooja Rani (middleweight) and Anupama (heavyweight).

The host nation’s sole flag bearer in the women’s event – Hanan Al Zeyoudi – became the first Emirati female to win an international boxing medal (bronze), although suffering a first round defeat (RSC) to Kazakh Lazzat Kungeibayva in the 81+kg heavyweight semi-finals.

Day 4’s action consisted of 18 women’s semi-finals that included a couple of upsets. Uzbek Gulasal Sultonalieva defeated top seed Josie Gabuco of the Philippines and Indonesian Huswatun Hasanah edged out another top seed – Shoira Zulkaynarova of Tajikistan.

Sultonalieva, 22, went on the offensive from the start to surprise the defending champion AND clinch a split decision 3-2 on points while Hasanah became Indonesia’s first female to reach an Asian final.

Updated: May 28, 2021 03:52 PM

SHARE

Editor's Picks
NEWSLETTERS
Sign up to:

* Please select one